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Posted by: DYC Inc. | Posted on: August 28th, 2013

In early August of 2013, Dynamite Youth Center held it’s annual Summer Olympics. A 2-day event ran at the upstate facility, the Dynamite Olympics brings out the competition, sportsmanship, and athleticism of the members. Most of all it gives the entire Dynamite membership a chance to be together, from kids who just went upstate, to phase members who are next to complete. The Olympics is an annual opportunity for everyone to be in the same place at the same time. Staff members bring their families, members bring relatives and siblings, the entire program comes together to create a unique feeling of togetherness, something a lot of the members never felt before.

Events in the Olympics included basketball, football, volleyball, relay races, potato sack races, the annual girls’ softball team game, and last but far from least, the upstate versus Brooklyn tug-of-war. Of course it’s good to be active and athletic, but sports tend to be more than just running around for members of Dynamite. Sports and friendly competition become a type of outlet, a release for all sorts of pent up emotions that members may have trouble letting go of. Things like the Olympics and the annual Bowl-a-thon give the members a chance to be kids again, something they might have forgotten how to do, being too busy wrapped up in a life of drugs.

This Olympics, many members agree, brought together the most diverse groups of members seen in a while. Members on their green ribbon; senior members who have only been in Brooklyn for a few weeks; re-entry members who traveled up on Thursday after a full day of work; and a surprising number of phase members who took the whole day off just to re-unite with everyone. The inseparableness shown by members in all different phases of the program, is truly unique, something most other programs don’t have, an indescribable bond.

As per Olympic tradition, Upstate and Brooklyn play every sport together on teams, except for one – “The Rope”. “The Rope” is a tug-of-war between the two facilities, one rope over the pond in the back of the upstate facility, each team on opposite sides of the pond, everyone pulling with all their heart for something they are undeniably proud of. The rope is more than just “who is better”, when it’s all said and done, everyone’s one big family again, and all that’s seen is strength and love. Brooklyn took the rope this year, while upstate took a swim in the pond. Yes, there might have been some gloating, but all in all, neither side would exist without the other, nothing would be possible if it weren’t for the heart and pride that members have for wherever they reside. The two facilities create the perfect balance for each other, no matter which side goes swimming.